Ethical leadership needed - Madonsela

2012-03-13 10:48
Johannesburg - There is massive maladministration in South Africa because of unethical leadership, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Tuesday.

"Without an ethical society we cannot expect ethical leadership in government," Madonsela told delegates at a "Tomorrow's Leaders Convention" in Johannesburg.

"The biggest challenge is leading yourself successfully."

Madonsela said the abuse of power and unethical leadership went hand in hand in the public, as well as the private sector. Examples included irregularities in state tender procedures and allegations of corruption within the auction industry. Ethical leadership was vital, especially in Africa, she said.

New ideas

"We need leaders to step up and think out of the box... We need leaders with new ideas."

Titles did not make leaders, she said.

"If you lean heavily on a title you are not a leader, it is just a position you hold."

She said there was a link between ethical and sustainable leadership. Madonsela used the example of business leaders offering bribes to get what they wanted.

"Sometimes you succeed, but eventually you get caught and everything goes down the drain. Hence the link between ethical and sustainable leadership. Ethical leadership is the lifeblood of sustainable leadership in your personal life and in business."

Madonsela said with ethical leadership Africa would live up to the idea of an African renaissance.

"We can do it. If you say you do not want maladministration... then do not engage in it. If you lead yourself successfully... you will remain ethical," she said.

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